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Prudential RideLondon partners with Thames Water to become single-use plastic water bottle free

Prudential RideLondon today (Wednesday) announced a brand new partnership with Thames Water with a goal to be the largest mass participation cycling event to become single-use plastic water bottle free.

Prudential RideLondon is the world’s greatest festival of cycling and will see more than 100,000 people take to their bikes on the traffic free roads of London and Surrey over the weekend of the 3 & 4 August.

For the first time the organisers will not provide any single-use plastic water bottles to riders. Water is provided in bowsers at the drinks hubs across the route for participants in the 19, 46 & 100-mile events. There will be Thames Water fountains at all the FreeCycle Festival sites and at the Prudential RideLondon Cycling Show to encourage people to bring their own refillable bottles. Thames Water volunteers will also be on-hand to explain the great benefits of tap water and help with refilling.

In previous years around 65,000 single-use plastic water bottles have been given out over the event weekend.

Spectators will be encouraged to bring their own refillable bottles and can find out where to fill them by visiting

This is part of Prudential RideLondon’s commitment to becoming a world leader in sustainable mass participation events and Thames Water’s commitment to champion the growing refill culture in the capital and promote the benefits of tap water.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director, Prudential RideLondon said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Thames Water and we believe this makes Prudential RideLondon the largest mass participation event to be single-use plastic water bottle free.

“Cyclists have long championed a refill culture and Prudential RideLondon and the partnership with Thames Water can inspire more people to refill and radically reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles used not just on event weekend but every day.”

Steve Spencer, Chief Operating Officer at Thames Water said: “London’s tap water is among the best in the world and through our partnership with Prudential RideLondon we are actively tackling plastic waste by providing tap water along the route. Our aim is to inspire even more people to refill with tap water on the go. By championing tap water and inspiring a refill culture, together we can help reduce plastic waste and care for London and our planet.”

Thames Tap Water Facts:

  • Thames Water run over half a million quality tests every year.
  • Thames Water is ‘hard’, with naturally occurring ingredients like magnesium and calcium – these minerals are great for your health.
  • In independent taste tests, most people cannot tell the difference between tap water and bottled water.
  • Five litres of tap water costs just a penny, bottled water is 500 times more expensive.
  • The average Londoner buys more than three plastic water bottles every week, which is 175 bottles a year – and over 40% aren’t recycled. (Source: RecycleNow).

Prudential RideLondon’s partnership with Thames Water and the commitment to be single-use plastic water bottle free is just one of the ways it is delivering on a commitment to be a world leading sustainable mass participation event.

In addition to the removal of plastic water bottles for participants, Prudential RideLondon is also doing the following to reduce its environmental impacts:

  • The #LoveWhereYouRide campaign encourages riders to dispose of their rubbish responsibly
  • Pro cyclists in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will dispose of their litter in ‘green zones’ during the race
  • No goody bags given out at the finish of the event
  • All event instructions and registration materials will be digital, not printed
  • All generators will be fitted with particulate filters
  • Eco-efficient tower lights will be used to reduce the amount of energy used and emissions
  • All branding material (scrim) will be collected and reused, or recycled into industrial rags
  • All waste collected across the event will be sent for recycling or to be used for energy. Teams of litter pickers will assist the post event clear-up to ensure any waste is collected and disposed of correctly. Our aim is for no waste to be sent to landfill.